POLITICS

Ramaphosa: I Am One Of Those Who Will Not Remain Quiet

The presidential hopeful was speaking on state capture and corruption.

12/07/2017 13:12 SAST | Updated 12/07/2017 13:12 SAST

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pulled no punches in hitting out against state capture, the Guptas and UK PR firm, Bell Pottinger.

He said it not only should those involved be punished, but the monies taken from South Africa must also be recovered.

Ramaphosa was speaking as a guest from the ANC at the South African Communist Party's 14th National Congress in Boksburg on Wednesday.

The presidential hopeful made reference to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe's diagnostic report, which was presented at the party's policy conference, and said that report, and others, described how government's structures and programmes have been "undermined by competition for resources, corruption and the capture of the state institutions by families, individuals and companies".

"Even as delegates gathered to deliberate on these issues, more and more information was emerging on the extent of which our state-owned enterprises have been looted and how individuals in positions of responsibility have benefited from actions that, at best, can be described as unethical, and at worst, be described as criminal," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa emphasised that he would not remain quiet.

"When things like these are spewing out in our national discourse, we cannot turn a blind eye. We cannot keep quiet. We now know without any shred of uncertainty that billions of rands of public money have been diverted into the pockets of a few. We also know that we, as taxpayers in this country, also paid for a lavish wedding that took place in Sun City," Ramaphosa said.

"State capture has already had a profoundly damaging impact on our economy, on our state, and on the wellbeing of our people. We need to act now to prevent any further damage... The house is burning, let us appoint this judicial commission of inquiry. Our law enforcement agencies must act with speed and purpose to investigate all these allegations."

It is a shame on us.

Ramaphosa said the "stolen" money needed to be recovered and officials involved will not be protected.

"We also need to go out and recover the monies that have been stolen, those monies must be brought back, they belong to the people of south Africa. We will not protect those within our ranks who are also involved in these activities," he said.

Speaking about Gupta spinsters, Bell Pottinger, who recently apologised for the actions in using racial propaganda to advance political interests, Ramaphosa said it is a matter of great concern that the company was able to "poison" the political discourse in South Africa to advance their "own clients narrow interests".

"It says much about our lack of political cohesion and ideological clarity... And some amongst us were so gullible, so believing, had so much faith in slogans that were crafted in London, brought here to confuse us... it is a shame on us."

But it seems Ramaphosa was also sent to mend the ruptures in his party's alliance with the SACP, before votes were to be taken on whether the SACP would contest the 2019 elections independently.

We must never take decisions out of anger because we are angry at the ANC.

"What we do know is that the enemies of our revolution have always seen the alliance as one of the greatest threats to hold onto the privileges they have had for so long enjoyed... In our own ranks, there are some who continue to question the value of this alliance," Ramaphosa said.

"We must resist each effort to destroy this alliance. This alliance was built through blood and struggle. To destroy the alliance would be a grave mistake. We will have committed a grave historic error. The people of SA will not forgive such a reckless act."

Speaking about the motion of independent electoral contestation, Ramaphosa said the idea may be "tempting" and cautioned SACP delegates against it.

"It has a wonderful ring to it, it is very tempting, alluring, and very attractive. But comrades, we have to face reality, and as a revolutionary movement, we must never take decisions by what drives our emotions. We must never take decisions out of anger because we are angry at the ANC," he said.

"We must do what our forbearers have always done. They have always been calculating leaders. As you look at this motion, I would want you to pause before you sign on that resolution, and ask yourselves, are we better off united or divided. You may even delude yourselves that we may be in a coalition afterwards, but when you get there, the cupboard is empty."

MORE:Politics